It is all well and good owning a mobile phone with GPS, tons of travel apps, but when it costs you £3 – £5 per MB to use the internet abroad, it becomes expensive very quickly. Last week I used my phone in-flight, while jaunting around New York and I have arrived home to a £60 bill for roaming charges.
Travellers still being ripped off with roaming charges
Networks making a fortune from roaming fees
I was using the AT&T network, my contract is with 3. On this contract I pay £2.99 a month for unlimited internet within the UK. So, why are roaming fees so expensive? It makes you wonder how much money these networks are making since the likes of Vodafone waived their roaming fees last summer.
EU changes on roaming fees
The European Commission is supposedly monitoring mobile operators and has in the past suggested that it will order the reduction of mobile roaming charges. I’ve yet to see evidence that this is happening. These charges are thought to make up to a sixth of their revenue for mobile operators.
Not value for money
Sure, I uploaded half a dozen photographs to Twitpic and Flickr, sent a few text messages and posted messages on Twitter and Facebook, but £60 worth of messages and uploads, no way. I certainly do not feel that I received value for money.
Thankfully I didn’t use the phone to call anyone because that would have cost me £1.15 per minute.
Unlock your mobile and use local SIM cards
What I would do next time is purchase a local network pay as you go SIM card. I have unlocked my phone so it means I can use networks other than my contact. This should save me from a huge bill when I return home from holiday. Check out this article for more information on how to unlock your mobile phone.
I would be interested to hear any tips, your thoughts on roaming charges, or nightmare stories about huge phone bills, and using mobiles abroad.